Ledbury CC debut at their new ground – Orlam Lane.

It was my pleasure yesterday to attend the start of the first match on Ledbury’s new ground at Orlam Lane. What a day it turned out to be, clearly things had moved on since I visited a building site some weeks ago along with Steve Evans as we returned from a meeting at Edgbaston. On my arrival yesterday clearly a whole lot of effort had been made to get the show on the road. Apparently at 5am yesterday morning a convey was observed on the A449 leaving Ledbury which consisted on a Manitou Tractor and loader plus two very large sight screens!
The ground whilst like everybody else’s ground was slightly straw coloured the square looked good. It was apparent Geoff Fletcher, Head Ground Supremo and his able assistant Tony Griffin had been working hard and directing operations, however everybody was a bit apprehensive as to what might occur when a ball was bowled in anger. To mark the first match I presented Ledbury with the two match balls for the match, the least this league could do.
The opponents were Cleobury Mortimer CC and I have got to say what a gain they are proving to be to this league. A throughly decent bunch and they can play some cricket too. As 1pm arrived the home side came down the steps to a guard of honour arranged as a nice touch by the Cleobury boys, this was much appreciated by all present.
So off we go with Club Umpire Russell Merryman in charge, scorer Ann-Marie Evans with pencil sharpened, Steve Large to bowl the first over, how would the pitch play. Well no worries on that account, the pitch had pace, even bounce with just four low bounces during the whole match, in short Geoff had prepared a road on which Cleobury drove and drove, hooked, pulled, cut and well pretty much every shot you can name to rack up 285 – 5 off their 45 overs. Some of the Ledbury bowling clearly suffered big occasion nerves, some did not want to damage Geoff’s pitch and bowled too many full tosses. The first wicket taken was by Steve Evans, Nick Griffith’s of Cleobury wracked up the first century had was finally out for 135. Ledbury finally hung on for a losing draw, scoring 234 – 9 with a fine 91 from Josh Evans and 63 from Tom Willis. So a total of 519 runs for 14 wickets on a brand new pitch, it looks like all the division 2 bowlers will need to step up to the plate to get wickets on this pitch. All in all everybody at Ledbury CC, in particular Rob Yeomans can be very proud of what they have achieved. This ground will be a starting point for a club revival and good luck to all involved, thank you.

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